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  • 03 September, 2022

  • 9 Min Read

Rising Greenhouse Gas

Rising Greenhouse Gas

Image Source - Live Science

Sea levels and greenhouse gas emissions reached new highs in 2021, according to a report by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) of the United States.


  • The study, which claimed that Greenland's ice sheet is already starting to melt to dangerous levels and will eventually raise sea levels without any warming, came out just days before the report.
  • The dwellings of hundreds of millions of people who live in low-lying locations all over the world are predicted to be submerged.
  • Rising Greenhouse Gases: In 2021, the atmospheric concentration of greenhouse gases was 414.7 parts per million, 2.3 parts more than in 2020.
  • Since the COVID-19 pandemic caused a significant slowdown in the global economy last year, the rise is attributable to a reduction in fossil fuel emissions.
  • Rising Sea Levels: This is the eighth year in a row that sea levels have risen.
  • When satellite measurements started in 1993, they broke the previous record by 3.8 inches or 97 millimetres.
  • Global warming: Since records have been kept in the mid-to-late 1800s, 2021 ranks as one of the seven warmest years on record.
  • Additionally, according to the global mean surface temperature, it was one of the six warmest years ever recorded.

Variations in temperature

  • The La Nina phenomenon, a sporadic event in the Pacific that cools seas, was to blame for the low average temperature.
  • All but two months of the year—June and July—saw La Nina in full effect.
  • February was the coldest month since February 2014 and had the lowest global temperature anomaly of the year.
  • However, the water was also unusually warm.
  • Tibetan lakes, which are crucial because they provide water for many of Asia's major rivers, saw high temperatures.
  • As the Earth warms, the frequency of tropical storms increased in 2021.
  • Super Typhoon Rai, struck the Philippines in December and left nearly 400 people dead.
  • Before becoming the second most dangerous hurricane to kill people in Louisiana after Katrina, Hurricane Ida wreaked havoc in the Caribbean.
  • For the first time since 1409, cherry trees in Kyoto, Japan, began to bloom early.
  • The frequency of wildfires, which is also anticipated to rise as a result of climate change, was relatively low in previous years, despite the fact that Siberia and the American West both had devastating burns.

US role in climate change

  • The US is the second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases globally per capita, after China, which accounts for over 25% of all emissions.
  • It is the world's top emitter of greenhouse gases per person.
  • As a result, the US is given a bigger duty for leading the world toward climate change.
  • The US has the economic strength to influence the world toward global environmental recovery as the largest economy and the only superpower.
  • Additionally, the US is seen as the de facto leader of the western world and has the authority to influence international decisions.
  • Technology Leadership: The US's technological strength has a significant impact on the global climate paradigm.
  • Therefore, in order to take speedier and more effective action against climate change, many developing nations, like India, have requested the sharing of technology.
  • For instance, creating more affordable photovoltaic cells, creating batteries, utilizing hydrogen as a clean, highly efficient fuel, building ultra-supercritical power plants, etc.

India’s steps to tackle climate change

  • In accordance with the Paris Summit, India's Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs)
  • The diminished intensity of emissions
  • capacity for generating electricity from non-fossil fuels
  • development of a carbon sink

International Solar Alliance:

  • France is a partner nation in the international alliance known as ISA, which was founded by India and has its headquarters there as well.
  • By utilizing cutting-edge technology, as well as offering incentives and regulating solar power, it aims to promote research into the development of more effective, affordable solutions to the world's energy needs.
  • It has 88 members right now.
  • Its initial membership was limited to tropical nations, also known as those having a strong potential for solar resources. However, it is now accessible to all UN members.
  • India is allocating a significant portion of its resources for development to the fight against climate change.
  • When compared to western nations, which are already in advanced stages of development, this is an amazing endeavour.
  • In fact, India's attempts to use solar energy have led to a situation where the cost of producing solar energy is currently lower than that of any other form of energy.
  • Climate Transparency Report: Of the G20 countries, only India consistently ranks at the top due to its measures being in line with the aim of preventing the world temperature from rising above 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

Way Forward

  • The globe should closely adhere to the 1.5 degree Celsius limit for temperatures over pre-industrial levels.
  • Moving from the sensational to the strategy is necessary. Anthropogenic emissions must reach net-zero levels, and cumulative emissions cannot go over a global carbon budget in the meantime, in order to moderate the increase in temperatures.

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Source: The Indian Express


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